CHOICE®: Same Philosophy, New Capabilities
April 26, 2016 by Bill Rosenthal

You have probably seen this before. You go to a website looking for information or perhaps a product, and a dialogue box pops up that says something like, "Hi, I’m Melanie. Can I help you find anything?" The dialogue box may even have a photo of a young, professional looking woman, presumably Melanie.

If you know exactly what you are looking for at this website, then Melanie may be more of a hindrance to you than anything else. But I can think of two conditions under which the sympathetic, imaginative help and guidance of a human being will be useful to you: a) you don’t know what you want, or b) you don’t know how to frame a question about what you want.

Those two conditions define the needs of a learner, which is why human instructors are so effective. Learning delivered by a machine is great when the learner has a precise learning objective and there’s only a single path to achieving it. If you need to learn the steps to add a column of figures in a spreadsheet, for example, a computer-mediated tutorial is probably a good answer. But how often are learning objectives that limited and precise? It’s more likely you need to learn how to create a spreadsheet for projecting the departmental budget. For something like that, you need expert human guidance.

You don’t have to convince anyone at Logical Operations of the importance of human guidance. We are the world’s leading provider of information technology instructor-led courseware. We believe in the efficacy of human instructors, and when we decided to release a remote learning platform, we built CHOICE® around instructors. As the cost of remote learning technology has declined, we’ve used the savings to enrich the instructor-led learning experience. 

CHOICE® already offers learners many different ways to approach their learning goals: textual and graphical resources, video libraries, easy access to classmates, archived discussions and asynchronous opportunities, pointers to trusted web resources, and a collection of engaging exercises limited only by the instructor’s imagination. Now we are increasing CHOICE’s capabilities with a new release this spring. The new release will be in three phases.

Phase 1 includes

  • Cloud Locker – Students can load assignment content to their Cloud Locker and share with their instructor and other students taking the course. 
  • Enhanced Course Messaging – Provides instructors with the additional capability to message students each time they log into the system or enter a course, and under a variety of other circumstances.

Phases 2 and 3 will include

  • Collaboration Enhancements – Discussion Boards within the each course allow students and instructors to collaborate remotely across location and time. Discussion Boards provide an outlet for open discussion available to all students in a course. This feature complements the existing private messaging capabilities available between instructors and students. 
  • Cloud eBook Reader – Students may read their course materials while online and any notes/highlights they make are saved to the student account in the cloud so they are always available no matter what platform the students use, whether it is Windows, Android, or iOS. 

We think there is no more powerful learning resource than an instructor to provide expert guidance. In building CHOICE®, we’ve put our emphasis on that instructor and provided the tools that allow that instructor to create a rich and immediate learning experience, even across continents and time zones.